Oh, and By the Way, Know Your Shortcut Numbers
Today, our VISN-4 Community Relations Office informed us with the message below that a retired VA phone number may put military veterans’ information at risk:
The Department of Veterans Affairs established 1-800-MyVA411 (1-800-698-2411) in 2020 to help Veterans, their family members, caregivers, and survivors understand and access the broad spectrum of VA benefits and services.
VA’s previous information number, 1-844-MyVA311, was retired at that time. Since that transition, MyVA311 has been repurposed by a non-federal entity claiming to be a medical equipment provider. Veterans may try to call VA using the MyVA311 number and unintentionally divulge personal information.
It is imperative that Veterans are informed that 1-800-MyVA411 is the appropriate number to call for information about:
- COVID-19 updates
- Health care eligibility and enrollment
- VA benefits, such as disability, compensation and pension, education programs, caregiver support, insurance, home loans, and burial headstones and markers among others
- The nearest VA medical centers, benefits offices or cemeteries to Veterans, VA Medical Center operational updates and connection to VA Medical Center operators
- Directory assistance and technical support for VA.gov
- Debt and payment options
As the above played off of shortcut dialing, it may be useful to know about these shortcut call numbers below when you need assistance or want to help another.
211: Call 2-1-1 for information and referral to community and social services, such as homelessness assistance, ESL classes, financial assistance programs, health clinics, or counselling services. For more details, click here.
311: Call 3-1-1 for information about municipal programs and services, such as garbage collection, snow removal, and transit in those communities which provide this service, for not all communities provide this convenient way to get to the correct authority.
411: Call 4-1-1 for phone numbers and addresses for people and businesses. 411 is not free. The cost depends on your phone provider.
711: Call 7-1-1 for TTY-based Telecommunications Relay Services permit persons with a hearing or speech disability to use the telephone system via a text telephone (TTY) or other device to call persons with or without such disabilities. For more details, click here.
911: Call 9-1-1 for local emergency services assistance
988: Call 9-8-8 for the National Suicide Prevention and Crisis Lifeline. For more details, click here. Includes a special access to the Veterans (VA) Crisis Line by pressing “1”.
Do you see one for the VA :-)? Here are some helpful, longer phone numbers from them: click here.
As of 28 November 2022